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Tributes have been paid to an “open-hearted” young man following his sudden death.
Niqash Saeed had a “God-given ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face” and was hailed as “the glue in his community”.
The 26-year-old, from Nelson, Lancashire, passed away on January 4 after experiencing sudden and severe chest pains.
After going to rest upstairs at his family home, he asked his brother to take him to the hospital.
Mesam Ali, 25, who had been friends with Niqash since he was seven, told Lancs Live that Niqash’s mother and brother watched as he collapsed on the floor right in front of their eyes.
A fundraiser has been set up in his memory with “the intention of helping as many people living in poverty as possible”.
It has already raised more than £51,000.
“He was experiencing chest pains and so his brother said ‘why don’t you go upstairs and lie down’ because he wasn’t really someone that showed his pain a lot,” Mesam said.
“He later said to his brother ‘take me to hospital’ so his brother told him to get up and he was going to take him.
“But the second he stood up was the second he passed away.
“Before, he was completely fine, very fit and healthy he looked after himself, he liked running, he liked training.
“I’ve got no words, it was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
“I didn’t sleep for two or three days, no one did, his friends or his family – we’ve literally just been in a state of shock.”
Following the death of one of his oldest friends, Mesam says he has taken time to reflect on the kind of man he was able to call his best friend.
Niqash played a big role in the community and often did what he could to raise money for local and Islamic charities.
Mesam says the 26-year-old always had time for people and even when life would get busy for the two of them, there would be no moment when Niqash would not pick up the phone to check on his friends and family.
He said: “I didn’t go a single day without Nishaq either ringing or voice noting me.
“The thing that sums Niqash up is he just wanted to see his friends excel and see them having a good time.
“I know what his friends meant to him and how highly he thought and regarded them- I thought, I had never ever told him I loved him, he knew I did and everyone else loved him and he knew that too, but the fact is that I never ever told him that.
“He used to love seeing everyone together- there’d be times when I met up with him after gym, I’d be hungry so I’d come outside and then he’d just link everyone else up and I’d annoyed at him.
“I’d say what are you doing, I want to eat I’m hungry right now but he’d say ‘oh, this person will only be 15 minutes’ and then ring someone else, ‘oh they’ll only be 15 minutes’.
“I used to say to him all the time ‘I’m never coming out again with you’.
“That was a lie obviously because I used to go out with him all the time but that’s just the type of person he was, he just loved seeing everyone together- and have a good time.”
During the funeral service for Niqash, Mesam says he had never seen so many people turn up to pay their respects before.
Islamic funerals consist of days of mourning where prayers are offered for the deceased.
Mesam said: “When I saw how many people attended his funeral and people who we hadn’t seen for years, it just showed tome how much he touched people- even just people he would meet.
“That was just a testament to how much he did for the community.”
After seeing the impact Niqash had had on other people, Mesam and his friends decided they would not let his legacy dwindle.
Together with the support of Niqash’s family, he dedicated a GoFundMe Page to raise money in the hopes of setting up a charitable foundation in his late friend’s name.
Initially, Mesam says he only expected to raise a couple of thousands of pounds but once the influx of supportive messages came through, he knew through Niqash’s name, they would be able to achieve something that would have greater impact.
Word spread quick of Mesam’s intentions to build something in his friends name and so too did the donations.
Mesam says the family and group of friends have settled on creating a foundation that “is not a short term fix” but instead a system to support the most vulnerable in their community.
“I’ve been a volunteer for a local charity for maybe seven or eight years now – Niqash would always give so we had this idea ‘let’s raise some money and lets do something that’s going to benefit him, benefit ourselves and just spread the positivity that he was.
“Niqash was someone that was proud of his community, as we all are, you know proud of our roots- it’s a close knit community and everyone has been affected.
“These past two days I’ve not even been feeling sad, I’ve had no time to sit down and I’m not sad anymore, I’m happy that we’re doing something and we’re going to help people, I’m proud.”
Mesam and the group have no intentions to stop fundraising any time soon and welcome any and all support from local business and residents.
Already business owners in Nelson have agreed to host charity days in Niqash’s name to support the group’s aim to contribute towards building water wells, feeding the homeless, and sponsoring orphans.
On a local level, Mesam says another one of their goals is to offer support to the younger generation, using the fund they raise, they hope to use their own passion and skill set to keep Nishaq’s love for the community thriving.
To donate, click the link to the Go Fund Me page here.
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